“You better think. Think. Think about what you’re trying to do to me.” So powerful is the admonishment of the acclaimed “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, that the song’s lyrics can be sung by heart by a generation — or two or three. The catchy tune and expert delivery may have some sway in determining the track’s longevity. Still, the verse connects with us. Our idiom is filled with reference to thought, or lack thereof.
We say “don’t think about it” rather than you’re welcome. We claim a “time to think” instead of demanding a break. We “think we know.” And, we “thought you understood.” We “sit and think.” And, “we think, therefore we are.” Suffice it to say, we think a lot. Even so, if we find ourselves incumbently reflective, why is it that we manage to be so thoughtless? Is it our lack of time just to think? Or is it that when we are busy that we just can’t think straight? Perhaps. Modern life allows for little reflection. The traffic, news cycles and abundant attractive distractions all contribute to our hopelessly short attention spans. The very fact that one takes the time to read this local newspaper indicates a “thinking” superiority.
Yet, if Ms. Franklin’s point is to be made, how can we navigate our world, let alone relationships with others, absent a bit of thinking? Is it like all-too-many efforts wherein we talk much more about them than actually undertake the doing of them? If thinking matters, what is on our “thinking” list? When do we make time to address it? What is the objective, if any, of our deep reflection? Have we studied how to improve as thinkers – or do we simply expect to improve with time? Hmm. I guess we’d better think.